Car pollution is one of the major causes of global warming.

Cars and trucks emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which contribute one-fifth of the United States’ total global warming pollution. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which causes worldwide temperatures to rise.

Burning excessive amounts of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, has caused an increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius, or 1 degree F, in global temperatures since pre-industrial times, and this will continue to rise over the coming decades. Warmer global temperatures affect farming, wildlife, sea levels and natural landscapes.

So what can you do?

As much as possible, leave your car at home, become a 1-car family or don’t have one at all.

In Boulder in particular, biking is AWESOME. Do it as much as you can.

There’s very little rain, it’s usually sunny and you know what they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Even in the middle of winter, if you wrap up warm and have the right bike accessories (more on that later) you’ll be fine.

Even if you live somewhere with a less conduscive climate, you can still bike. I biked to work almost everyday in London, UK and rarely had to skip because of the weather. If it rained, I wore waterproofs.

So if you’re going to the local shops, to school, on date night, or to work, try walking or biking. And if it’s further than your legs want to bike, consider shelling out for an electric bike. What you’ll save in gas will cover the costs AND you’ll be so much happier getting outside everyday.

This is my electric bike. It’s carrying all our groceries AND one of my kids’ bikes (and a kid)! Who needs a car?!

ALWAYS wear a helmet and ideally flashing lights (and a sign telling texting drivers to STOP texting ; )

You can also choose public transport. While it doesn’t have the convenience of taking you from A to B, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of parking once you get there. This is particularly true of getting to the airport. The bus from Boulder to DIA is low-cost, quick and easy and takes you right the the door.

The Right Gear:

I ferry myself and my kids around on my electric cargo bike ALL year, even when it’s below freezing (but maybe not when there’s snow on the ground!)

I realized that remembering gloves for everyone every time was almost impossible so I added stroller mitts to the bars next to the kids so they can just pop their hands in those and be toasty warm, and I added Bar Mitts to my handlebars. I often don’t even need to wear gloves in winter because they keep my hands so warm.

Then I have a face mask and a headband under my helmet to keep my ears warm plus clear glasses or even ski goggles to stop the wind.

Stop Puffing:

This is the practice of leaving your car running to warm it up while you are not in it. This is actually illegal in Colorado.

However, I’d like to take it a step further. PLEASE don’t leave your car running when it’s parked even when you’re sitting in it. I know it can get very hot or very chilly but we can survive a little while of that before boiling / freezing to death so rather than clog up the atmosphere even more, consider turning your car off as soon as you stop.

One trick I find is that if the ignition is on, the heated seats will still work so it keeps me warm without the need to have the engine running.

Challenge 21:

Some time in the next week choose to walk, bike or take public transport in an instance when you would usually use your car. Whether that’s popping to the store or going to work. I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is and how much getting outside improves your mood. Enjoy!

Kitchen’s can be a huge source of waste.

Packaging, kitchen roll, glad wrap…. the list is endless.

So here are some alternatives:

Instead of

Use

Glad wrap

Beeswax Wrap

Parchment Paper

Silicone Baking sheets

Plastic bags for your veggies and salad

Use Vejibags (they keep things fresh FOREVER) and a Salad Sac (Keeps your salad crisp and yummy for aaaages!)

Bottled water

Use a water filter or add charcoal to your water

Plastic dish brush

Wooden dish brush (in store @ Nude Foods)

Disposable oil spray bottle

Gorgeous reusable oil spray bottle (I just bought one!)

Your poor hands

Silicone lid opener

Tea bags

Loose Tea and a Tea ball infuser

Plastic bags for snacks

Nude Foods silicone Sandwich bags and snack bags

Paper towels

Biodegradable Swedish cloths

Disposable Coffee Filters

Permanent coffee filter (in store) or Hemp-Cotton Reusable Coffee filter

Plastic bottles of dish soap

Vegan Dish Block or Dish Soap in resuable glass

Challenge 20:

Go through your kitchen and see what single use items you can replace with reusable items. Post about what you found.

According to NRDC, many major toilet paper brands are making their products from trees in the Canadian boreal forest, essentially supporting the logging of a vital environmental resource for a product that is LITERALLY flushed down the toilet.

Logging this forest releases 26 million metric tons of carbon emissions every year, and even toilet paper itself releases remaining carbon into the atmosphere because it has such a short life cycle.

For most products, the majority of its carbon footprint comes from extraction of resources so using recycled content is HUGELY beneficial.

Toilet paper made from new materials is worse because the extraction of wood pulp contributes to deforestation, fossil fuel emissions and water & energy use.

So it’s VITAL to use recycled paper.

We love Earth First Recycled Toilet Paper.

  • Made from 100% recycled paper and 80% post consumer content
  • Recycled toilet paper has 1/3 of the environmental impact of non-recycled
  • No unnecessary plastic packaging
  • No chlorine or other harmful chemicals used in the bleaching process
  • Recycled-content toilet paper may be a more sustainable alternative to bidets in water-scarce regions like Colorado where saving water is a top priority

Challenge 19:

Change to recycled toilet paper. You can find it HERE!

 

In the United States alone, approximately 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are discarded each year. WHAAAAAT?!

These take years to break down in landfill, and many are flushed down the toilet (ew) and end up causing wastewater treatment facilities a ton of problems.

A silicone menstrual cup creates 99.6% less impact to the environment than using sanitary pads and 94% less plastic waste than tampons over a span of 10 years so here are 11 reasons why YOU should give one a try (or buy one for the women in life : )

  1. They are honestly VERY easy to use. Once you get the hang of them they’re just as easy to use as a tampon.
  2. Save Money. One cup will last you a long time. Many users claim at least 10 years.
  3. They’re safer. Tampons come with the chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome. No chance of that with a cup.
  4. You never run out. You’ll always have your one cup available as it never gets used and discarded.
  5. You can go MUCH longer between changes. The chances of TSS from a tampon become high at 8 hours whereas you can go at least 12 hours between changes with a cup.
  6. Holds more liquid. A normal tampon holds 6-9 grams of liquid. A menstrual cup holds almost 5x that amount!
  7. Leak Less. When inserted properly (see point 1) the cup creates a suction and collects all liquid whereas a tampon can shift and create leakage.
  8. No unsightly strings. Wearing a swimsuit with a string accidentally hanging out is NOT a good look!
  9. Chemical free. Almost all tampons contain bleached rayon – a material that creates the possibly carcinogenic byproduct dioxin. Plus you’re shoving BLEACH up there! WOAH. Menstrual pads are only better in that they keep the bleach n’ stuff on the outside but still too close for comfort.
  10. Carry less. No more having spare tampons in every purse your own (or risking them falling out at inopportune moments….)
  11. You CAN change them in a public bathroom (although you shouldn’t need to given how long they last). Just take a paper towel into the stall, empty your cup down the toilet, wipe clean and reinsert.
  12. Eco Friendly. Loop Menstrual Cups (carried at Nude Foods) are made of 100% natural rubber so will even biodegrade eventually (don’t worry, not while you’re using them!)

Top Tip: Empty your cup in the shower in the morning.

If the idea of collecting your flow in a menstrual cup grosses you out then just picture the pile of blood engorged, bleach-filled tampons sitting in landfill.

Yup, much more gross.

Give a menstrual cup a try, I PROMISE you will be so happy you did!

Challenge 18:

Buy a menstrual cup and give it a try OR send this blog post to the women in your life. Not everyone knows these exist or the dangers they’re putting themselves and the earth in by using the alternatives.

Now this may seem like an oxymoron given that air travel is TERRIBLE for the enviroment but many of us do it so how can we do it while having the least impact possible?

I’m a Brit who lives in the US so without fail, I do long haul flights twice a year. It hurts my heart to see the insane amounts of waste produced on an airplane so this is what I do to ensure that I add to that as little as humanly possible.

Average trash from one 10 hour flight PER PERSON!

Water

Flight attendants push bottled water like it’s going out of fashion and sadly, usually those plastic bottles are incinerated at the end rather than recycled. Ugh.

I pack my metal waterbottle AND a camelbak.

Once I’m through security the first thing I do is go fill up both to the max from a water fountain or coffee shop. This way I can say no to ALL the drinks they offer me in plasic cups or bottles as I have my own : )

Food

A flight attendant friend said she would never eat plane food knowing how it is prepared, which is even more impetus to bring your own.

Go online and opt out of the meal altogether and pack yourself a delicious (plant-based ideally) spread.

Not only does this ensure you get to eat what you enjoy but if there’s a delay, you’ll be fully stocked up and not relying on the attendants to provide food.

I was once on a flight from Mexico with my 2 young daughters and we sat on the tarmac for 4 hours without moving. I had taken tupperwares down to Mexico with me and had filled them up from the breakfast buffet at the hotel that morning so while everyone else survived over dinner time on one measly granola bar (given out after about 3 hours and a lot of complaining), we feasted on delicious food, had plentiful water and were super comfortable.

I now never fly without my own food and water supply.

Coffee and Tea

Simple ask the flight attendant to fill up the reusable coffee cup you brought with you right from the jug.

Extras

Most long haul flights come with a few extras such as blankets wrapped in plastic, headphones wrapped in plastic and maybe even a little toiletry set. Be ahead of the game by bringing your own. I’ve got a super soft giant scarf that acts as a blanket, my own headphones (make sure they have a stereo jack for the flight) and have a toiletry bag with toothbrush, moisturizer, ear plugs, eye mask etc so I can say a resounding no to theirs.

Offset your flight

If your airline offers carbon offsetting, take it and if not, find a carbon offsetting organization and offset your flight directly with them : ) It doesn’t make it guilt free but it certainly makes it better.

And of course don’t forget your ‘Go-Bag‘!

Say Something

Tell the airline how appalled you are with the amount of waste produced. On British Airways they bring a new plastic cup of something around every hour. Why not just let people keep ONE cup and refill it? I write to them every time because hopefully, the more consumers shout, the more they listen.

Challenge 17:

Message an airline and tell them how strongly you feel about the plastic waste they’re producing.

1 million cups are used on airline flights in the US ALONE every SIX HOURS!!!!

Get rid of goody bags!

I find it so odd that my kids go to someone else’s birthday party and THEY get gifts. It’s not their birthday!!! They’ve already had cake and plenty of other ‘treats’ as well as a damn good time with their friends, more gifts are not only wasteful (hands up who hates more small plastic toys in their home) but also spoiling to our kids. It’s teaching them to want more STUFF.

If you can’t bear to not provide something then how about a book swap? Everyone brings an old book and swaps it for someone else’s old book.

Don’t underestimate the joy of something being new to you rather than having to be new new.

Second Hand Gifts

Building on the theme of things being new to you, why not shop second hand for gifts? If you know the perfect thing to get someone then search FB Marketplace and Craigslist or head to a consignment store. For me, a second hand gift is always so much more meaningful because I know it took much more effort and thought for the giver to find.

Say no to gifts or only ask for what you need

It’s hard not to feel like Scrooge when writing this but my friends and I have started to say no gifts to each other for our birthdays. It takes the pressure off and makes the birthday all about spending quality time together instead.

Prioritize Experiences

Objects lose value while memories are priceless. Instead of contibuting to consumer waste by giving physical gifts, plan an experience that will be remembered and appreciated for a lifetime. My kids get art classes, riding lessons or a trip to the movies. My husband and I plan a weekend away for each other.

Regift!

Regifting is cool : ) Just because you don’t have a use for something you’re given doesn’t mean that someone else shouldn’t. If you get a gift you don’t absolutely love or need, then put it in a potential regift box. Either you’ll find a need for it at some point or it will come in handy when you need to get someone a gift and have left it til the last minute : )

Give Zero Waste Gifts

If you have to give a ‘thing’ make sure it is reusable and environmentally sustainable. Gifts like reusable coffee mugs and water bottles are not only stylish but also serve as a reminder to people that replacing single-use items with something reusable is totally easy. We have TONS of zero waste gifts at Nude Foods. Check out Rainbow Stainless Steel CutleryInsulated Stainless Steel Food Jar + Mini ContainersWater BottlesMetal To Go ContainersInsulated Lunch Tote made from recycled plastic bottles and Insulated Mugs.

Zero Waste Gift Wrap

Single-use wrapping paper isn’t actually recyclable. Use materials like newspaper, brown delivery paper, handkerchiefs, t-shirts or reusable bags to wrap your gifts instead. If you’re feeling really creative (and have time) you can even find newspaper and magazine articles that are relevant to the recipient to wrap their gift in.

Challenge 16:

Find some things in your house that you could regift and surprise a friend with a present you think they’ll love.